Few costumer complaints and a rummaging market made us expect the rollout of the new Kindle any day and now big A has sent out invites for a press conference in Santa Monica, Calif., early morning of September 6. Bookmakers in town settle for a new Kindle Fire and an e-ink Kindle with a built-in lighting option, plus maybe a camera, included Bluetooth, Touch Screen for the low price level $79 Kindles, most possibly maybe different memory options (8GB and 16GB) and (uhuuu..) physical volume-control buttons! Finally! No longer trapped with those horrible onscreen volume controls! Interesting.
is the not much talked about ad-supported Special Offers version that might roll out with the new device: As rumours go, A could attempt to subsidize the cost of the new Kindle Fire with an ad-supported Special Offers version, which would change some rules. Not only does A spill out one great device after the next on the lowest levels of pricing possible (without giving them away for free) but it does offer the greatest international range of digital content (and pretty much everything else) while maintaining the platform with the by far best service from single-click-buy to chat-with-costumer-care over to pay-once-enjoy-everything and back to free-shipping-prime-credit-card-inculded. Now good morning, publishers! May I suggest we take a look back now..
- 2009: content first (check)
- 2010: service first (check)
- 2011: mobile first (check)
- 2012: data first .. See something?
What do you do, if you have almost all the content, a well working, unchallenged proprietary device, an amazoning marketshare and millions of costumers who even use the credit card you hand them for some pay-back-funds and produce billions of collectable data? You collect the data, build an even better still cheaper reader and make sure, every bought book, article or movie tagged “marriage” goes with an additional let’s say fertility test add. Only if the person is female, between 20 and 40, from a non muslim country and not gay, of course.. Any idea how much money you can make with this kind of targeting? A lot. A whole lot. In the end enough, to give not only the devices away for free but the content with it – subsidized. Congratulations, good old booksellers and publishers – while e.g. in Germany it is not even allowed to put advertisement to books, A puts it to the reader and at the same time aims for authors to publish directly. Add all this and talk to publishers worldwide: “Yes, we’re making 60% of our revenues via Amazon but this just turned from unpleasant to serious thread to disaster.” BUT? Try it this way: “This just turned from unpleasant to serious thread to disaster because we’re making 60% of our revenues via Amazon.” and then let’s get together at the next book fair again, have snacks and wine and feel great about being .. well, a book person.
Dear fellow-book-people out there, let’s start a discussion on how to turn the adaptable parts of Amazons strategy back into something useful and let me add that we at PaperC discuss a free flat for our digital textbooks subsidized and partly Open Access. Not because we like that so much but because Spotify and others show that this is what people are likely to accept.